back to article XBOX One will learn to play media from USB and DLNA sources

Microsoft has announced that its XBOX One will soon gain the power to play media stored on USB devices and gadgets compatible with the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) standard. Redmond isn't saying just when this will come about, offering only the promise that “A new app will be available soon”. USB support will be …

  1. dotdavid

    Your correspondent “hears from friends” that some of the file formats Microsoft will support are often found in torrents of copyrighted material

    Your correspondent "hears from friends" that the money people get out of Barclays Bank ATMs is the same type often found in police drug busts.

    1. ThomH Silver badge

      Indeed. Had the author alleged a strong correlation between use of that file format and intellectual property theft then he'd have been closer to making the point he intended, I think.

  2. SuperTim

    torrents?

    But surely nobody is able to utilise such torrent sites now that they have been so very comprehensively blocked by a tech-savvy court. The only MKV files out there must now surely be home-made videos compressed with DivX to save space. So I applaud Microsoft for allowing me to watch such home-made video classics.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: torrents?

      Exactly! MKV is great but I also hope it can play MP4's over DLNA, most of my personal video is in that format (i prefer to keep it in the original format&container rather than compress it again).

      I regularly use DLNA to share videos from my phone to my TV, especially when getting back from holidays, best way to show people holiday snaps.

      but I don't get why we can't be allowed to buy non DRM'd digital movies, this move towards cloud storage worries me, I like my media stored in my own cupboards and on my own servers.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Already can

        If you've got the new Xbox you will probably have a fairly new telly, which would be a 'Smart TV'

        They are usually DNLA compliant themselves, so running a media server on your home computer will allow you to play those files directly through the telly.

        No need to bother with the Xbox.

        1. Chris D Rogers

          Re: Already can

          Just one problem with this, as I have found out myself, on my Philips 8007 LED TV, namely if you try and connect the Xbox via HDMI to your TV and then playback 5.1 Audio - which the Xbox One is supposed to support, you have no audio - not too sure if this is a Philips or Xbox issue.

          Suffice to say, instead of utilising all HDMI connections on my TV for ease of use, I now have to direct the Xbox HDMI to my sound bar and then connect the sound bar to the TV for it all to work. Also, being in Hong Kong in a country not presently supporting the Xbox One, video streaming is a no go, which is strange given my AV LG system and Philips TV support DNLA, although Philips have an issue with CODECs, whilst LG will play anything thrown at it.

          Basically, for me at least, being an early adopter was a waste of time, I purchased into the MS bumph that the Xbox One would be the centre of my home entertainment system, only to find out it was useless.

          My daughter still prefers the Xbox 360, which itself is cripple when you reformat a HDD to enable playback of DL'ed, recorded material, basically you are stuck with files being no larger than 4.4G, which means 720p playback, rather than 1080p.

          Anyway, that's my two cents worth, however said improvements will be welcome, just a shame they are 12 months late, as is the inclusion of iPlayer I may add.

        2. L05ER

          Re: Already can

          actually...

          i bought a 55" last year specifically knowing i would buy the xbox one... i opted to skip the "SmartTV" because they only came with LED back lights... i would have preferred to not power up the xbox just for netflix or hulu, but i'll do it to avoid uneven lighting (cheap things are cheap).

          $600 (before tax) got me a 120hz 55" LCD screen. if i wasn't buying the xbox one, i could have spent twice as much and got a better tv however...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When nobody is buying your console

    Desperate times calls for desperate measures, even if it means alienating Hollywood.

    Guess this is driven by the PS4 outseling the Xbox One 8:1 last week in Europe and 3:1 on home turf.

    http://www.directupload.net/file/d/3712/gr2kgckg_png

    I see Sony have already SOLD 10m to real CONSUMERS,

    1. Joerg

      Re: When nobody is buying your console

      The Sony 10 Million number of sold console is far from to real customers.

      The real number of customers might be half that at best.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: When nobody is buying your console

        It's totally to consumers. Sorry you have to resort to denial.

        http://techcrunch.com/2014/08/12/sony-has-sold-10m-playstation-4-consoles-to-consumers/

  4. MonkeyBob

    PS3?

    My PS3 already does this. I still can't see the point of the XBONE

    1. Jules75

      Re: PS3?

      About time too! I often regret removing my PS3 from my home cinema / media setup. This will go a long way to filling the whole the PS3 left.

    2. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: PS3?

      My PS3 already does this. I still can't see the point of the XBONE

      Really, you could have fooled me. Considering all the "corrupted file(s)" My NAS was spitting out. Before I took the time, and effort to hack it, to install the latest CFW on to it, and then install the Showtime Media Player on it. Then yeah it started playing only some of those Formats...

      Most People with a newer-type PS3 from ca.~ 2011 to date, though are screwed if they wish to try this though. As those Systems will almost never be cracked.

      1. Linker3000

        Re: PS3?

        I have a home Linux server running Serviio and we've been streaming to my son's PS3 since we bought it when it first came on the market - it sees Serviio as a regular UPNP/DLNA server. Never had an issue with it.

    3. Anonymoist Cowyard
      Holmes

      Re: PS3?

      How are Microsoft going to watch you in your living room and work out what adverts to show you in the unlikely event you use Bing or Office360?

      Xbox One's sole purpose is to get into the living room.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: PS3?

        "Xbox One's sole purpose is to get into the living room."

        Any commercial product's sole purpose is to get into your life somehow.

    4. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: PS3?

      My ancient HP NC8000 laptop also does this and a whole lot more.

      It'll also stream games from my linux and W8 PCs

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: PS3?

      "My PS3 already does this. I still can't see the point of the XBONE"

      As the Xbox One has a seperate BluRay player application that can be uninstalled, presumably it's not permanently Cinavia infected like the PoS3 and PoS4....

      1. mark 63 Silver badge

        Re: PS3?

        Im loving these fanboy nicknames! well done

        1. Steve I

          Re: PS3?

          Indeed - it's great that primary-school kids are Internet-savvy.

      2. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: PS3?

        "My PS3 already does this. I still can't see the point of the XBONE"

        As the Xbox One has a seperate BluRay player application that can be uninstalled, presumably it's not permanently Cinavia infected like the PoS3 and PoS4....

        Funny my PS3 also lacks Cinavia... (Now that its running CFW). But even then, it would allow you to watch the first 20 or so Minutes of said Film before kicking off. Not that I had ever tested this myself. Like I said 99% of all the *.mkv stuff I had always came up as corrupted on the PS3.

        But, now I can enjoy things such as PS2 & PSP Soft Emu (Using S0NYs own Emus!), as well as being able to watch most of my stuff now. Sans the stuff that was encoded in Hi10p that is.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: AC

        On the subject of Cinavia:

        https://torrentfreak.com/dvd-ranger-cracks-unbeatable-cinavia-anti-piracy-system-140524/

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: PS3?

        "As the Xbox One has a seperate BluRay player application that can be uninstalled, presumably it's not permanently Cinavia infected like the PoS3 and PoS4...."

        That only applies if you're watching a pirate BluRay disc tho, not if you're streaming it over a network or something.

        Not that I'd know, or anything.................Piracy is wrong mmmkay.

  5. Charlie Clark Silver badge
    Flame

    Genius!

    This'll certainly help Microsoft knock the Raspberry Pi off its perch!

    How come it didn't come with DNLA built-in? File formats aside that seems like a glaring omission from something that only works when connected to the telly.

    1. RoninRodent

      Re: Genius!

      > How come it didn't come with DNLA built-in? File formats aside that seems like a glaring omission from something that only works when connected to the telly.

      2 words. Microsoft arrogance.

      When they did the big announcement for the xbone the entire presentation was on how it was a "media centre" and a "social networking hub" with a VERY small section of the presentation showcasing games (you know, it's actual function). Anybody with a brain knew from this presentation that the xbone was going to fail.

      Basically they restricted the ability to get video from anywhere but the paid marketplace in the assumption that it would force lots of music and video purchases from the store.

      Months later they realise that this hasn't happened and they have basically lost the next-gen console war so now they are scrabbling to add features to help boost sales. First Kinect went from "always on" to "can be switched off" as "always on" was universally slammed, then it became an optional addon and now they are scraping the barrel. Expect more free game deals soon.

      1. ????????????????????

        Re: Genius!

        Xbox one had the ability to connect to DLNA out of the box, however it did not have the ability or software to detect the connections. I was using ArkMC which is an app for the iPhone and iPad to detect my HDhomerun prime which is a DLNA cable tv tuner to connect to the xbox. Once i told the Xbox to connect to that DLNA server (a specific channel) i could even turn off my phone. The main problem i have and still have is that channels that are DRM protected by time warner to include C-span2,3,4 are DRM locked which means i cannot view them on xbox1 which is techniquely illegal sense these channels and many more are public access channels and should be viewed without limitations let alone i cannot tune to cartoon network or my favorite channel BBC america. I really dislike the cisco cable box's we pay for by time warner, they are out of date only 2 tuners at max and cost between 26-35 dollars a month with all the unadvertised cost TWC charges. on top of that they frequently crash and are poorly designed. But the HDhomerun prime works great it has 3 tuners and over a few months period it pays for it self. Also you can have multiple of these devices on your network. I watch all channels on ps3 which is getting slow it was one of the first PS3 and traveled with me as i moved in the Military but i believe water may have damaged it when the Military transported it back to the states. I can play all non-drm channels on mac, and all channels on my windows pc. but i do not want to waste all that power by having to keep the PC on let alone the fact that windows Operating system is glitchy and i would like to get rid of the need of using it completely. A feature that the xbox dose not have as well is recording DLNA channels from the HDhome run as well, let alone setting up the TV to use the DLNA server as the TV source.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Genius!

      --How come it didn't come with DNLA built-in?

      Because...Microsoft.

      1. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: Genius!

        --How come it didn't come with DNLA built-in?

        >Implying that DLNA has ever been remotely useful to anyone.... Case in point I give you any Number of "Smart TVs", or even Samsungs Phablet to TV service "All Share". Which had about as much chance to work as a Stock XBOne, or a PS3/4. (i.e. It didn't!)...

        Other less restrictive Software like Skifta manages to do a better job of it. But I think it still relies mostly on the fact that XBMC (Kodi), just doesn't enforce this sh-- DRM on us, and so... Just works.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: Genius!

          I use DNLA every day on my telly (Philips). Only problem has been the shitty WiFi.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Genius!

      "How come it didn't come with DNLA built-in?"

      Windows 7 has DLNA built-in - Microsoft probably has a pretty good understanding of just how useful ordinary people find DLNA isn't!

  6. K Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    So they are

    Still limited and most importantly missing mkv etc.. so essentially there is no difference to the 360..

    The best thing I ever did was ditch my PS3 and 360 in favour of a gaming PC and Couch Master for the lounge.. Its not for everybody, but its worked out a dam site cheaper on Games and I'm able to watch anything I like :)

    1. returnmyjedi

      Re: So they are

      It's getting MKV support with the update mentioned in the article.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So they are

        "It's getting MKV support with the update mentioned in the article."

        Wow - will now have to go buy one just as a fuck you to the copyright cartels.

        1. Michael Habel Silver badge

          Re: So they are

          "It's getting MKV support with the update mentioned in the article."

          Wow - will now have to go buy one just as a fuck you to the copyright cartels.

          I'd rather just get a small Android Box to host XBMC, myself... Much cheaper, and way more gratifying for the cost then a Failbox One!

    2. MrWibble

      Re: So they are

      mkv is a container for codecs, not a file format per se.

      1. K Silver badge

        Re: So they are

        My bad, I missed the MKV mention and my knowledge of codecs is limited to "WTF.. why won't it play?!". So thanks for pointing those bits out :)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So they are

        I had to hear someone mention Matryoshka (Russian Dolls) on the radio this morning before I finally twigged that MKV is named after them... d'oh! :)

        1. Don Dumb
          Facepalm

          Idiotic Eureka Moment!

          @AC -

          I had to hear someone mention Matryoshka (Russian Dolls) on the radio this morning before I finally twigged that MKV is named after them... d'oh! :)

          I hadn't realised it until I read your comment and I also now realise why from the comment above about it being only a container format. That's my idiotic eureka moment of the day - uberd'oh!

      3. Tom 38 Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: So they are

        A file format is exactly what mkv is, a container file format to be precise.

        Matroska is a generic container for codecs, mkv is a specific Matroska profile that defines a container file format.

  7. Michael Habel Silver badge

    The only way to watch whatever ya want

    Is to find the best low power option to get XBMC (a.k.a Kodi) working. Be this on a Raspberry Pi, an Ouya, or some Android ATV style clone Box. If it has the ability to run XBMC, and it has enough RAM in it, then you wouldn't need anything else.

    1. lurker

      Re: The only way to watch whatever ya want

      Plex is also good. Tried Xbmc and various other alternatives, and having actually paid for plex I don't feel like I wasted my money, it's very nicely presented, and has that 'it just works' thing down nicely.

    2. Graham Jordan

      Re: The only way to watch whatever ya want

      That's what I was thinking.

      A year ago I ran a pretty decent spec pc in the evening and weekends. It did everything. Download legally purchased movies as well as run XBMC.

      Since then I've switched to a HP N54L always on NAS, 2 raspberry PI's and an Intel NUC.

      My electricity bill has gone down.

      I remember the first gen XBOX and PS3 were power hungry monsters, I can assume the Xbox One and PS4 dim the lights a little? So why on earth would anyone want to run their media ctr through a power hungry beast when as someone has already said, most TV's these days will play any file you throw at it at no extra cost?

      Clue? Does MS have one?

  8. Matthew 17

    Why doesn't it already do this

    Hell my cheapo Sony BD player supports DNLA and MKV files, my PS3 also.

    Don't MS market their machine as being the only box you need for all your media?

  9. DrXym Silver badge

    Cinavia

    Blu ray players have to implement cinavia protection which includes the XB1. I would not be surprised at all if they enforce it through any DLNA player.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cinavia

      "Blu ray players have to implement cinavia protection which includes the XB1"

      BluRay on the XB1 is an OPTIONAL application install!

      1. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: Cinavia

        BluRay on the XB1 is an OPTIONAL application install!

        That's only available to XBL! Gold Subscribers?

  10. Colin Ritchie
    Windows

    Can't think why they want to make it more useful.

    8.1 million PS 4 buyers versus 4.5 million Xboners, Sony making M$ look unattractive never goes down well.

    http://www.statista.com/statistics/268966/total-number-of-game-consoles-sold-worldwide-by-console-type/

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: Can't think why they want to make it more useful.

      8.1 million PS 4 buyers versus 4.5 million Xboners, Sony making M$ look unattractive never goes down well.

      Must be down to all those p!ssed off People effected one to many times with the RRoD... I for One know how that feels...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Can't think why they want to make it more useful.

      10m PS4 sold to consumers. Announced yesterday,

      http://uk.pcmag.com/news/34874/ps4-sales-top-10m-as-sony-gears-up-for-holiday-gam

      Microsoft "forgot" to bring numbers....

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thank you

    Thanks to all the ever so helpful folk on here informing us that you can use a PS3 or Linux server or many other devices to stream video to a TV. I had no idea.... There was me thinking this was a story for XBox One owners (or potential owners) when in fact it was a story where the more intelligent and educated folk out there can inform us what we SHOULD be doing rather than making our own minds up.

    Again, thanks folks.

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: Thank you

      Thanks to all the ever so helpful folk on here informing us that you can use a PS3 or Linux server or many other devices to stream video to a TV. I had no idea.... There was me thinking this was a story for XBox One owners (or potential owners) when in fact it was a story where the more intelligent and educated folk out there can inform us what we SHOULD be doing rather than making our own minds up.

      Again, thanks folks.

      CITATION NEEDED: The Post where anyone's holding a Gun to your head saying not to buy a XBOne? Just that there are better, and cheaper alternatives out there, that'll probably spare you endless hours of ballache, in having to reconvert your "Library" into something useable by the XBOne.

  12. James 51 Silver badge

    I want to be able to hook up my USB 3 external hdd with a bunch of mp4s and have the xbox play them. As it is I have to turn my PC on so the xbox than grab them from the hdd there.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The very first line of the article that you are commenting says:

      "Microsoft has announced that its XBOX One will soon gain the power to play media stored on USB devices"

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    call me a luddite but...

    I just plug a PC into the back of my telly and I can do absolutely everything, despite not knowing what the hell your talking about. Just get the latest codec.

    I point to a media file of any format , local or on the NAS and say "Play that" , and it does.

    It also goes on the internet using a browser of my choice not some soon-to-be-out of date bollocks you find in a game console which is navigated using a on screen keyboard with a brain and thumb crippling left-or-right A2z character selection system.

    so Microsoft can stay out of my living room! oh , wait , i do all this in win7

    but i can also do all of the above in ubunto if im in the garden

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    PS3.

    PS3. People said that it was expensive. People said it was hard to code games for it. So I bought mine for the blu-ray player, because I read everywhere that best blu-ray player was... the PS3.

    I didn't even know it played my mp3s and movies until I tinkered around with Windows Media Player in my W7 PC and the PS3 came to life showing all my stuff. That was the most happy WTF moment I had for several years. Hell, I can even outright copy my songs into the PS3 and play them on Gran Turismo background, which very few, if any other consoles, can do.

    Except for the Halo franchise, I see no point in owning a X thing, and even worse, it should recognize their OWN WINDOWS SERVERS, playing THEIR OWN codecs from the get go. Isn't that exactly what the article is saying, that they needed a whole new generation of consoles to play stuff they should be playing for EONS?

    1. James 51 Silver badge

      Re: PS3.

      When the PS3 was launched it was half the price of the rest of the blu-ray players on the market.

    2. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: PS3.

      Hell, I can even outright copy my songs into the PS3 and play them on Gran Turismo background, which very few, if any other consoles, can do.

      Hell at the risk of being accessed of being in league with the MDF (MicroSoft Defense Force), I'd just like to point out that MicroSoft were doing this a long time ago with the XBOX. Now granted it was, and is more uptight and inconvenient about it then S0NY had made it with the PS3. (e.g. Coping *.mp3 Files). On the XBOX, as well as on the Failbox360... You had to first import such stuff as you wanted off an Audio CD. But a few Games that I can recall did allow you to play your own Music In-Game.

      Sadly I never had a working 360 long enough to find a game that would allow it. It seems (using some Google-Fu), that the FailBox One... Would rather you pay them an additional $10.00(USD) a Month to stream such content to your Console...

      To be fair though... AFAIK not even the PS4 currently supports *.mp3's Kinda begs the question whats so next-gen about a Console that only does about a Third of what the Last Gen., did. But, this is me hardly picking on S0NY. 'Cause MicroSoft are just as guilty in this respect.

  15. phuzz Silver badge
    Facepalm

    USB drive formats

    I'll be interested to know what file system formats it will read. On the 360, if you have a file bigger than 4GB, it won't fit on a FAT32 formatted drive, so your only option is to copy it to an HFS+ formatted drive. For some reason the 360 doesn't support exFAT or NTFS (or EXT, but that's kind of understandable, not many people format their USB stick ext4).

    Yes, the only solution for a 4GB+ file on the Microsoft XBox 360 is to use an Apple file system.

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: USB drive formats

      Yes, the only solution for a 4GB+ file on the Microsoft XBox 360 is to use an Apple file system.

      Does this mean that One might also be able to read an X360 Drive off, an Apple Computer??

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: USB drive formats

      As for a curiosity trivia, PS3 lets you backup the console to a pendrive, and will gladly cut the backup file in 2GB chunks, aptly named backup##.file or such.

      But it sadly didn't read my Samsung S2 or my Iomega portable HDDs as valid medium (media?), only being able to read a 32GB sandisk pendrive, perhaps exactly because of that.

  16. Stretch

    I have this thing called a PC...

    ...it plays all of this and more, as well as all the best games. And its upgradable.

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: I have this thing called a PC...

      Yeah enjoy that PC thing for another cycle or Two... While I'm not as entirely aboard the whole "Death of the PC" thing... Its quickly becoming more, and more apparent that MicroSofts Era is at an end. And, this will catch up to you sooner or latter... Though I suspect that transitioning to Linux may still be cheaper then buying a PS5 or XBTwo....

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It is for your own good.

    If they don't let you play the files, then they can't log that you played them. And when you go online they wouldn't have this data, like the filenames, checksum of the files and when you played/paused/rewind/fast-forward/stopped playback, for feedback to the media companies. This data generates money.

    Read your EULA and T&C's, you did agreed to provide automatic feedback to help improve the service.

    Always remember you are the product.

  18. Geoff Johnson

    ps4

    Does the PS4 have this functionality? I see a lot of comments about the PS3, but not 4.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ps4

      Too busy playing games on the PS4 to comment on that right now...

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